Yesterday, I ran across this message about Project Honeypot and it had reached the milestone of receiving its 1 Billionth Spam message.  That’s right.  One Billion.  That’s a 1 followed by a whole bunch of zeroes.

What is Project Honeypot?  From their website:

Project Honey Pot is a community of tens of thousands of web and email administrators from more than 170 countries around the world who are working together to track online fraud and abuse. The Project has been online since 2004 and each day receives millions of email and comment spam messages which are catalogued and shared with law enforcement and security partners.

The website is fascinating reading and does give you pause to make sure that your anti-virus is up to date so that you don’t become a “bot” spamming the rest of the connected world.  If you have a Gmail, Live, Yahoo! or other account, you’ll have a folder there entitled “Spam” or “Junk” and the service runs software to recognize spam messages as they arrive addressed to you.  It’s not unusual for me to open these accounts and see 4-500 messages flagged in this manner.  Protocol is such that you should check the messages in case something important got misfiled.  There was a time when I actually did that and then managed the folder by manually deleting the messages.  Then, I got a message from the services indicating that they automatically deleted them after 30 days anyway so I gave up on that.  I really no longer even open those folders so my apologies if you’ve sent a message to me that got flagged as being in this category.

I spend more time with my legitimate email accounts and the junk that actually gets through the filter.  It really is annoying but it’s the price that you pay in this day and age to remain connected.  The more transparent that you are with your email, the more that you get.  Thankfully, the designers of spam filters are doing their best to try and catch this stuff before you even see it.

Vintage Ad
Vintage Ad‘ by jbcurio via Flickr
Image is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution licence

Spammers customize their offerings as well.  I’m amused by the junk that I get at my OSAPAC email address, for example.  Since we’re in the business of licensing educational software, I get all kinds of offers for free university degrees and cheap software.  If they only knew that we have licensed Microsoft Publisher provincially and I could create my own “Dr. Doug” diploma in a heartbeat!

But, customized spam messages aren’t restricted to just email anymore.  If you’ve got a blog, you’re probably getting all kinds of replies to your entries.  Often, they are sent under the guise of a valid reply to your posts.  With WordPress, I have my account set to trap spam and I have to go through and manually delete them.  Sometimes, there are valid replies that do get caught so I take a look every now and again.  Before I went to bed last night, I cleaned it out and checked this morning.  I have lucky 13 replies to my posts.  (Don’t be silly and try any of the URLs in the messages)

  • WcDei3 mhkxhwunqkdi, [url=]zlfvscftdmem[/url], [link=]ejdlksppviog[/link],
  • thanks
  • Don’t be crazy Rebecca. You made a great impact with your speech, bigger than you possibly know. As for the series …
  • Kudos for creating such a wonderful weblog. this website happens to be not only useful but also very creative too. We find very few people who can think to write technical content that creatively. I are on the lookout for knowledge regarding a topic like this. We ourselves searched in dozens of websites to find information with regard to this.Keep posting !!
  • […] the original post:  links for 2009-12-25 « doug – off the record By admin | category: game wiki | tags: check-out, extremely-useful, linux, programming, […
  • You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.
  • Thanks soooooooooooooooooo much for the great post this was exactly the thing I needed today!
  • cool blog I’m happy I wandered onto it through my friend’s blog. gonna definitely have to add this one to the morning routine
  • Wow, I found your site on google looking for something totally unrelated, and now I’m gonna have to go the archives :) So much for my spare time today, but this was a truly awesome find.
  • This is an awesome article, I’ll definitely be sure to add this blog to my list :D
  • Wow- That was really insightful and helpful! I really find it interesting how we can use social websites for profit.
  • Jx5uOi gfdpalqkijiu, [url=]xnnkspaxwlfg[/url], [link=]bvljxqgcblbh[/link],
  • AAfter is the high privacy search engine that offers Cash-Back too; like Bing. Besides, it provides so many useful services like plagiarism checking, reading comprehension, reverse phone lookup, spelling bee, and lots more. Visit the site and its ‘how to use’ page.

Now, some of these look pretty positive.  After all, there’s nothing that strokes the ego like smiley characters or S with a whack of Os after it.

But, Akismet has kept me safe.  In the life of my blog, I have published 1,251 entries.  Akismet claims to have protected me from 20,409 spam comments.  Looks like I’ve got a little honeypot of my own going on here!

Social Bookmarks:

links for 2009-12-27